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7 Questions on Leadership with Ghislain Ondelekanga


Name: Ghislain Ondelekanga


Title: President


Organisation: Cree Ton Avenir, NGO


I identify as a self-taught, free man, intellectual, creative, independent and impartial entrepreneur and leader. I am a self-proclaimed mentor, motivator, trainer, personal development and life coach certified by my own brain. I am also an actor in African civil society, humanist and laeder defender of human rights, fighting for economic, health, social and cultural rights, commonly called economic and inclusive social rights. Since 2010, I have been working more on my own initiatives in the private and civil society sectors in Africa and around the world. As an excellent self-taught person and leader, in the private sector I work in the fields of Agriculture, tourism, education and others such as digital and media. I am president of the NGO Cree Ton Avenir, The citizen consumer movement and the former president of the Yali Congo Alumni Association, all based in the Republic of Congo.


I am also the initiator of the African forum for social and collective entrepreneurship, a pan-African framework par excellence where reflections, exchanges, sharing and capitalization of experiences are carried out in the field of entrepreneurship, agriculture, tourism, digital and others in Africa, with a view of contributing to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals 2030 as well as the 7 aspirations of Agenda 2063 of the African Union. For all 54 African countries.


Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!


I hope Ghislain's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Cheers,

Jonno White



1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?


Being a leader, the biggest challenge I experienced in my life was working on myself to transform my own life into something special and important in the world .


2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?


I grew up in a rural area where my family situation never allowed me to pursue my long studies. It must be noted that all this was linked to the very early death of my late mother after her failling abortion. My father was arrested and thrown in prison, a few two weeks later I was also thrown next to my father in prison. The two of us spent a year and a half in prison before he was pleaded not guilty.


This experience had a negative impact on my father's life and especially mine. I did not have a chance like other children to complete my middle school, high school and university. So, at my young age, I have to face the difficulties and obstacles of life. As you knew, in the Republic of Congo my country, when you have not had a long education, you tend to be the last and excluded from society, such is the nomenclature of our society. Once I became aware of my situation and the caricature that society already imposed on me as a diminished person.


I made the decision to fiercely fight this caricature, in order to refute this stigma and discrimination. Faced with the pressure of society and life, I resolved to take in charge of my future and create a new me obstacles that people in society must respect. It’s was despite all the difficulties, limits, problems and situations. I started learning how to sell small things on my own through the people around me, their life experiences and without forgetting reading books. It was therefore necessary to have the spirit of a resilient leader in order to be able to face the difficult and dark periods of his private life.


But, thanks to my tenacity, my determination, my great vision of life and above all my optimism to become a leader of my own life, that help me I ended up by creating my future on building my life step by step, until to created a new me and a new place under the sun and forced people around the world to accepted me as an entrepreneur, Coach in personal and life development, a Motivator, Mentor and Trainer. Also as leader, an actor in African civil society, humanist and defender of human rights, fighting for economic, health, social and cultural rights, commonly called economic and inclusive social rights. Here's a little bit about how I became a leader in my own life and those who believe in me.


3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?


I have always made a daily work schedule but sometimes I don't really respect other things. But there is always one most important thing in my schedule that remains untouchable, my reading times every morning. I have an obligation to read each morning before going out for more or less 3 hours. reading is my greatest motivation


4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?


The little lesson about leadership that I learned recently is the ability to be a leader who has the capacity of doing big things with the minimal effort for the benefit of the majority. In 2021, I was elected president of the Yali Congo Alumni association, an organization which brings together in the Republic of Congo all the scholarship holders of the Yali initiative launched by President Barack Obama. My office had 8 people and 6 showed up as resigned and left.


There were two of us left, the only option left to me was also to resign or give up. But, after deep reflection, I was obliged to review their responsibilities and roles and change and adjust working methods. I shared the responsibilities and roles with my collaborator, the two of us had worked for 2 years and achieved what my predecessors never achieved.


5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?


The book that impacted my life and my sense of leadership is the Bible. The fact of abandoning studies very early meant that I had difficulty an reading, writing and speaking in French. As in all French-speaking countries, anyone who has difficulty an reading, writing and speaking in French is considered illiterate. The Bible is the only book that helped me learn to read, write and speak well in French and English. It was reading the Bible that developed my desire for reading and learning. I owe what I am today as leader to the bible reading habits.


6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?


young leaders must know that success and failure are the fruits of personal effort, not collective effort. Because the success of a leader start inside him not outside .


7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?


Noah story In Genesis 6. Noah was a Leader who does what's right, even when it isn't easy or popular. Imagine what people must have thought of Noah building a huge boat, gathering hundreds of animals, and preparing for a flood that no one could predict ? Noah showed good leadership skills when he picked what was right over what was easy or popular. God looked at the world he created and was incredibly frustrated. People had become sinful, corrupt, and violent. God realized he needed to start over and he planned to wipe everyone from the earth in a flood. Noah had favor with God – he served him faithfully, was righteous, and walked closely with God. God decided to spare Noah, and gave him a mission: build an ark, round up a pair of every animal, and climb aboard with his family and the animals. The Ark took decades to be built. This means that Noah spent a lifetime living differently than everyone around him. He certainly felt like an outcast at times.

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